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Arsenal v. Brentford, Carabao Cup lineups, match discussion: Bring on the kids

The Carabao Cup gets under way.

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Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal - Capital One Cup Third Round Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images

It may not be a glamorous trophy, or one that anyone really cares about, but it’s still a trophy. Arsenal’s Carabao Cup campaign kicks off today, when they welcome Brentford to the Emirates. The Championship’s seventh place team comes into London on the back of a 2-2 draw with Aston Villa at the weekend, unbeaten in six, and in generally good form.

Arsenal, as mentioned yesterday, are going to ring in the changes for this game - Unai Emery has indicated that the squad will be very young, which means seeing the Eddie Nketiahs and Emile Smith Rowes of the world, and that’s fine with me.

I like it when Arsenal win, and I would never want them to lose, but if there’s a puntable competition on the English calendar, it’s this one - getting the yoof some minutes is not the worst thing in the world, but it’s also not the worst thing in the world if those young kids don’t get the job done. They really should just call this the Mild Shrug Cup.

Or, alternately, they could do the thing I’ve wanted them to do for years - restrict this competition to Championship teams and below, letting the Premier League sit it out, and give a Europa League place to the winners as a reward, to incentivize the bigger Championship teams to take it seriously.

But, that’s not gonna happen, the Premier League will continue to send kids, and the rest of the pyramid will continue to see this as a viable way to win a trophy until the quarterfinals, when they’re all eliminated. It’s not the best tournament, but hopefully the Arsenal kids can make a good impression.

WHAT: Arsenal vs. Brentford

WHEN: Thursday September 26th, 2018 11:45 AM PT | 2:45 PM ET | 7:45 PM BT

WHERE: Emirates Stadium

US TV: Not broadcast. Streaming on ESPN+. ESPN is offering a 7-day free trial of the streaming service, after which it costs $4.99 a month. I am an ESPN+ subscriber, and of all the stupid a la carte streaming services we have to pay for in order to watch Arsenal, I think ESPN+ is the best - for that $5 a month, you also get full MLS coverage, a ton of other leagues, and a ton of other sports as well. It’s a good deal, for sure.

For all your international streaming needs, check out Please do not discuss links to illegal streams here.